Education: I received a BA from Wilfred Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario with a double major in Psychology and Religion and Culture, graduating on the deans list. I received a Mater of Divinity degree from Waterloo Lutheran Seminary, a college of WLU, in 1978
Comment to those looking at my sermons: Take them for what they are - an attempt to express the Word of God to specific congregation with particular needs and issues. I’m sure that if I were preaching in another parish, many of my sermons would be written differently. I am pleased for those who have found my sermons helpful, but I hope that helpfulness has been transformed into a sermon that relates to the people in the pews you serve.
Sermon or series that made a difference: I have always tried to preach on the assigned lessons for the seasons of the church year. I believe that this insures that the Gospel is proclaimed in fullness throughout the year. Thus, I do not usually engage in series sermons. I do, however, always preach my Christmas Eve sermons in poetry as a gift to my congregation. It is a custom that I picked up from my own pastor of years ago.
Family: I am married to Josie, my wife and helpmate. From our previous marriages, we have five children, and five grandchildren, whom we adore.
What my parents think of my sermons: On the day I was ordained, my mom and Dad were proud, but also wondering how I had ever come to be a pastor. Parents have so many memories of childhood, the unsaintly actions of their children, that it is hard for them to grasp that their child has been called to ministry. My father has since died, but my mother has come to realize that I am called by God to preach - and she not only likes, but is often moved by my sermons.
What my spouse (really) thinks of my sermons: She is my biggest critic. And I invite her to take up that task, especially when I might include some illustration of our home life. She is very supportive of my preaching, and often tells me that when I think I have a "not-so-hot" sermon, they quite often turn out to be some of my best. God’s Spirit is always at work.
Best advice given to me about preaching: Always end your sermon with the grace of God. Many sermons challenge members to repent and aspire to faith, but it is God that makes that possible. I have heard far too many sermons that often proclaim teh law and will of God for our lives, but then often leave people feeling helpless to change. God’s Spirit and grace is what enables us to be Christians.
Books that have had an impact: Too many to number.
Hobbies: I enjoy woodworking and building cabinets and furniture. I also do electrical work for our church camp, since I was, before returning to school, an electrical contractor. Golf is also an interest, although my game is far from perfect. I serve as secretary of the VFW golf league, which yearly has 70+ members.
Something funny that happened while preaching: I sometimes use illustrations from my homelife. One time I stated some shortcoming in my personal life that my wife had pointed out to me, and when she nodded her head and said, that’s true, the congregation lost it.
What I want on my tombstone: Plain Cheese